All Night Check: Beautiful Young Ladies to Perform for You


  • Angela Sweigart-Gallagher St. Lawrence University
  • Melissa C. Thompson University of Maine at Farmington


This piece documents the authors' encounters with audience members and reviewers during their performance All Night Check, which explores the ways in which women, femmes, and female-bodied people are socially expected to perform their sexuality for the enjoyment of others. Through images and video stills, descriptions of performance moments and audience encounters, and as images or descriptions of audience feedback forms and reviews, the authors document how participants how different audience participants have interacted and responded to the performance's different incarnations. Comments have ranged from enthusiastic support for the subversion of gendered expectations to anger at not having the individual participant's desires fulfilled. Audience members have commented explicitly on the physicality of the performers, including positive and negative responses to the performers' ethnicity, appearance and perceived "sexiness." The authors suggest that, asa whole, these comments reveal how women are frequently expected to perform forthe arousal of others rather thantheirown arousal.

Author Biographies

Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, St. Lawrence University

Assistant Professor of Theatre

Performance and Communication Arts

Melissa C. Thompson, University of Maine at Farmington

Assistant Professor of Performing Arts